Michelle Sullivan Communications

Ghost blogging revisited

I monitor my own reputation, just like I monitor those of my clients.

One of the tools I use, Google Alerts, pointed me towards a new PR blog, written by a student named Brittney. In her latest post, she looks into the ethics of ghost blogging and notes that opinion in her class was split on the issue. In presenting both sides of the argument, Brittney paraphrases one of my earlier posts on the subject.

I tried for awhile to manoeuvre Brittney’s blog’s comment restrictions before giving up (sorry Brittney!) Instead, I’m posting here:

Hey Brittney – this is a point of ethics that’s definitely worth re-examining on a regular basis, but particularly now that PR practitioners who didn’t naturally gravitate towards social media in the past are being forced to catch up, thanks to evolving client demand. I look forward to seeing what your readers have to say on the subject.

Almost two years after that blog post was written, I’m still not accepting ghost blogging contracts. If my clients don’t have the time or inclination to blog, I look for other solutions. Collaborative blogs seem to be working for some – it spreads out the work load, is still based on authentic voice and provides the community with the access and direct contact they appreciate. Every case is different, but I’m still definitely staying clear of the ghost blogging option. It just simply goes against everything I believe about social media as a powerful and meaningful communications vehicle.

Social media isn’t a bandwagon to jump on. It’s a commitment to authentic communication. As social media becomes increasingly mainstream within our profession, it’s time for everyone to decide where they stand on this issue. My hope is that they’ll look beyond any potential (and artificial) short term gain and consider the reputation of our industry as a whole.

The time has come for PR to shake off its image-maker, smoke and mirrors reputation. Not propel it further.

Congratulations on making the bold move of launching your own blog on the profession you’re embracing. I’m adding you to my blogroll and looking forward to more.


  1. Éric Bolduc

    2009.02.15 @ 13:09

    I agree with you one hundred percent [of course] blogging IS commitment. Thank you for articulating it so well in conjunction with ghost blogging (I never actually thought about ghost blogging however it DOES sound fishy).

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